What's the Opposite of Tax Evasion?


Illegal immigrants are showing up in droves this year to pay their taxes. Several of the amnesty proposals under consideration in Congress link amnesty and taxes–requiring payment of back taxes before amnesty can be granted, for example.

The New York Times explains how people without Social Security numbers can still be law-abiding taxpayers:

Illegal immigrants do not have Social Security numbers, but the Internal Revenue Service allows them to file taxes by assigning applicants individual taxpayer identification numbers. The numbers were introduced in 1996 to encourage noncitizens with United States income, including foreign investors, to file returns. It is generally accepted that most of the 11 million numbers issued since then have gone to illegal immigrants.

The Washington Post opts for practical analysis paired with a warm and fuzzy take on the story:

"Having their taxes done is a benefit to them. . . . Generally, when something opens for immigration, they will ask if you have tax returns for the past two or three years. Some of them ask for proof if they have been in the country for 10 years. What better proof is there than having tax returns for 10 years? That says a lot," [tax consultant Hank] Azais said….

Josefina Gutierrez Calucho, 37, a self-employed cleaning woman originally from Bolivia, said she has paid her taxes for the past six years to comply with the law and to support the public education of her 10-year-old daughter, Talia.

As her accountant was filing out her forms, the Dale City resident smiled and said, "I like this country."

The I.R.S. is charmingly ecumenical about the whole thing: "We want your money whether you are here legally or not and whether you earned it legally or not," said Mark W. Everson, the commissioner of the I.R.S.

Earlier, I wrote about how some illegals are also using their ITIN's to open bank accounts, perhaps to save some cash for their tax bill, or to deposit their refund check once it comes in.